On The Scene and Keeping the Blues Alive
With Tracey Stones
Big Jim and The Blues is an Evolving Story
Since coming out of a coma in September 2017, Big Jim Kohler has been an unstoppable force, a bluesman on a mission. Growing stronger with each gig, he is playing as often as six times a week, fighting through the pains of life and getting cleaner on the guitar after 30 years of mastering its strings in an altered state of mind. Big Jim now approaches the stage sober and celebrating the music he loves to share with fans and friends of the blues.
It has been a busy season for the blues-man and his band. He is rocking the local scene with regular engagements at The Brown Pelican on Mondays, with jams being offered from 7-9 pm and on Wednesday at City Stage, where again 7-9 pm the stage offers a slew of blues and music-making friends.
Along with hosting regular jams, they also play BrUtopia, Triple Play Restaurant and Sports Bar, and The Garage in James City. The band is busy offering their services for benefits and charity events often and they are also making a name for themselves on the regional scene as well.
This music season has offered them an opening act opportunity at The State Theatre in Greenville back in May, which now leads us to more Greenville gigs and expanding territory. Most recently the band played AJ McMurphy’s for the first time and wowed the crowd there too.
The blues band brought their music to Mardi Gras Fest in Beaufort this Spring and more recently rocked the Cru Bar’s Summer crowd a few weeks ago, as seen in the video above. They made their way to Wilmington a few months back and have been cutting chords along that coast ever since.
Currently, the band is filling the rest of 2019 and booking dates for 2020 as we speak. If you have room on your calendar for a great blues act, give Tracey Stones Productions a call about bringing them to your room soon. 318-789-6929
From Opening Act to Headliner in A Few Weeks
Woolly & The Wingnutz
BRING THE APPETIZERS
Last week we rolled to Raleigh where Big Jim Kohler Blues Band headlined an event I put together for The Pour House Music Hall.
The bill was a Sunday Blues Brunch offering three regional bands. Woolly and The Wingnutz opened the show at 2 pm, offering fun and funky set of down-home blues. We met Woolly at his weekly blues jam at The House in Durham. I asked him to join us given the fact that he works so hard on the local scene for the Triangle. This was a great way to start a fun day of music. These boys are nothing but professional and have a lot of fun making music together.
Cultivating the sounds for this band was Woolly on guitar, Mike Conway on guitar, Mark Heffington on Harmonica, T.A. James on the bass and offering strong vocals from behind the kit David Sword.
You can catch these guys swapping grooves most Thursday nights at The House in Durham with good food being served and hot blues from 6:30-10 pm.
Appaloosa Redd & Friends Serve the Second Course
My sweet friend Gary Redd, better known to the music world as Appaloosa Redd, brought his friends front and center for a fun time with old fashioned grooves that made sense in today’s world. I love his style and his music friends that he takes on the journey they are always spot on. This show was another great example of that. Offering a fifty minute set of music that traced back to Redd’s heritage on the Appalachian Trail, he is a gem to behold!
Based out of the Greensboro area, I met Redd and guitarist Jeff McLean last year at The Greensboro Blues Festival, where his band closed out the event. Since then we have traveled the state and talked about a lot of blues! When I started planning this show it only made sense to bring the cool grooves of Redd and Co in for such an occasion. I actually look forward to doing more work with both of these music trailblazers. Woolly and Redd are passionate about bringing music to the people and wish to share their gifts for that purpose. The friends that came to assist Redd was drummer Darrell, bassist Shiela Klinefelter, and guitar man, and good friend McLean.
Big Jim & The Band for the Main Course
Filling out the bill for a regional three-course serving for the day was none other than the Big Jim Kohler Band out of New Bern, NC. Here again, another group of talented players passionate about sharing his sounds for the benefit of others.
When it came to selecting a band to fill the top slot, it seemed simple enough to me. I reached out hoping to secure some stage time for Big Jim, and I wanted to offer him that hope. Though Sunday Blues Brunch turned out to be slow, it was a fun experience to play with so many talented players in a room that caters to the music makers. I fell in love with The Pour House Music Hall on Sunday, even though I found public parking in Raleigh to be a great challenge.
Banging out the beats with Big Jim on this gig we bass-man Chris Buttitta, the drummer from the Triangle area sitting in on the gig was Chuck Katz. Mark Heffington was on harmonica, Kathy Kohler on vocals and the big man himself, on guitar and vocals.
Tracey Stones Productions Presents
Concert In the Park witH the Kohlers
The Kohlers wrapped up another fun week of sharing the blues at a concert in Fairfield Harbour. Tracey Stones Productions brings music to this park during the months of May- October. This is a great way for neighbors to enjoy a good time of music and fun as they sit under the pavilion in Red Sail Park. This was their second performance this Summer and promise to return for our entertainment this fall.
I still have a great many shows slotted for this concert series for my friends and neighbors in Fairfield Harbour. Music is offered in the park where are all welcome to pack a drink and a snack and come enjoy great live music for a few hours.
Our next event will take place on Sunday, August 11, 2019, featuring The Carolina Swamp Dogs. This trio of retired Marines will bring an authentic set of great blues for your listening pleasure. The band will play 3-5:30 pm at Red Sail Park. On Sunday, August 25th, Hank Barbee and The Dusty Trio return for their second show. Be sure to save the dates and come show some love and please tip the band.
Live Music Options
Captain Ratty’s Seafood & Steakhouse will offer live music upstairs in the piano bar. This week the offer Chuck Phillips. Music is offered 6:30-9 pm and dinners are always delicious.
Alisa Mike hosts a night of music each Thursday evening at City Stage New Bern. She will wow you with standard jazz offerings and groove you with fun show tunes. The City Stage offers a pub-style menu and entertainment most night of the week. They are located at 901 B Pollock St., Doors open at 5 pm.
Live music under the sails will be brought to us by Cigar Box Jesus and the Revelation shares the sounds with diners from 7:30-9:30 pm.
Charlie Duzan will host open mic night at The Brown Pelican this week. Open mic happens each Thursday night. Sign up starts at 7 pm and music starts at 8 pm and lasts until all of the jammers have jammed. This is the longest-running open mic night in New Bern and it is always new and exciting! Pack up the gear bag and come on out!
Along the Coast
Morehead City, NC
Live music and good food are all being served this evening at Riptidez bar & grill MHC, with the fresh catch coming out of the kitchen, and one of NC’s best stringers and singers will be rocking the mic from 8 pm until midnight
Atlantic Beach, NC
Steel Shot Live
The Sounds Like Summer In The Park features the sounds of Steel Shot. The Pamlico County duo will be rocking the Atlantic Beach Town Park located at 915 West Fort Macon Rd. Music is offered from 7-9 pm. They say you can bring a pop-up chair or blanket. But ask you to leave the coolers at home. The concession stand will be open and selling fresh kettle corn, drinks, candy & ice cream! This is the last show of the series.
Emerald Isle, NC
There is a weekly concert series EMERALDFEST 2019 that has been going down since the middle of June. Sponsored by Buy The Beach Realty, they still have several shows all taking place at Western Regional Beach Access with shows starting at 6:30 pm. All of the bands on the schedule are local talented stars that have been making a name for themselves for quite a while.
July 25 4EverAll & Friends
August 1 Big Drink Music Company
August 8 Pure T Mommicked
August 15 Naked Knees
Be sure to stop by the sponsor tent and say thanks for their support in bringing the live music. Your gratitude and appreciation do not go unnoticed by the organizers.
The RV Road Show will be taking a trip to Swansboro to play on the beautiful waterfront at Bake, Bottle and Brew on August 1st from 6-9 PM! Awesome atmosphere and a great view!
8/1 – Selah Dubb
8/8 – Justin Cody Foxx
8/15 – Dos Eddies
8/22 – Crystal Fussell
8/29 – Desperado Duo
9/5 – Access 29
9/12 – Cross Creek Band
9/19 – The Casserole
9/26 – Signal Fire Acoustic
Rocking Around the Region
Head out to the Pender County Courthouse Square for the Summer on the Square Concert Series. The show will feature The British Invaders. Come here all your favorite tunes from the Beatles, The Rollin’ Stones, the Who and more! Concerts are free! Food trucks will be on site. Alcohol is not allowed and pets are not permitted for their safety.
Come out tonight to celebrate Lorraine Jordan’s Birthday the ticket includes your meal & cake and your entertainment throughout the night. Lorraine’s Coffee House & Music offers live music tonight from 7:30-9:30 pm.
We are kicking off live music at Brio every Thursday with Jared Place on August 1st at 5:30 PM! Get here early to catch our happy hour specials and enjoy some great food and drink specials! Join us every Thursday at 5:30 for different musicians and some popular favoritesacts from the area!
Mike Davis performing his popular solo act of Rockabilly, R&B, Blues, Reggae, Americana, Celtic Rock, Old-Time Rock & Roll at Bahama Breeze Island Grille (Raleigh, NC) from 6-9 pm.
Midtown Jazz Series: Gary Brunotte Jazz Duo is what you can expect this Thursday with music playing from 8-11 pm.
Pride of Kinston will offer the music of Liquid Pleasure for Sumerfest on August 1, 2019. Music Plays from 7-9 pm. Here are more details from the FB Event:
This concert is sponsored by SCOTT MATTHEWS FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY, DR. PRADEEP ARUMUGHAM, and LEIGH PATTERSON – Y’all rock!!
After more than two decades of bringing audiences to their feet the band, Liquid Pleasure has become a multi-cultural icon. The band has been paired with greats like Chuck Berry, Eddie Floyd, Ben E. King, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston.
Since 2004, Pride of Kinston has held a summer concert series that has entertained thousands in beautiful Pearson Park. When the new executive director, Leon Steele, assumed his new role, this concert series, Sand in the Streets, was rebranded to Kinston Summerfest.
Kinston, NC Summerfest continues to showcase a diverse selection of the finest talents from North Carolina. Get ready for beach, boogie, and blues!
Summerfest brings people downtown
Kinston Summerfest is Eastern North Carolina’s hippest free outdoor music festival! This concert series is part of Pride of Kinston’s economic package to revitalize our historic downtown. Kinston Summerfest attracts thousands of people from Eastern North Carolina to shop and dine in our walk-friendly historic commercial district.
Pearson Park, the site of Kinston Summerfest, is a block away from nationally-recognized restaurants, bars, shops, and boutique hotels. Kinston Summerfest is great for people to relax and socialize in the evening. Bring the kids to enjoy the new Pearson Park playground!
Thank You for Reading!
Tonight’s blog is made possible thanks to the donation and kindness of Ken Byrd.
Please go out and support live music tonight! Please be sure to call the club in advance to confirm what you read here is true. Many times events change without anyone updating the changes publicly.
If you like this blog please sign up and get an email each time we publish.
I appreciate my readers, the musicians and the venues who all do a part in keeping live music alive! Give us a like and tell your friends about our mission by sharing this page on your social media pages.
Thanks to the many bands and clubs, thanks for keeping me informed!
When you walk out the door tonight, take kindness with you. Be sure to tip those that serve you and the music makers that rock you!
Hug people often and share the love. Make sure you take time to enjoy the dance. Please party safely sweet people! We love having you here with us! Rely on your sober friends, call a cab or sign up to Uber around town tonight!
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Have a great week ahead and enjoy the dance! When we return at the end of the week we will pick up with the blues and meet new rockers too. Until we meet again, out on the scene or here on Friday, cheers!
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